Brown spots, red spots, and freckles!
We all hate those stubborn signs of sun damage on our cheeks, neck and chest, but what we hate even more is that we’ve tried every product and cream on the planet… and nothing works!
Enter the “laser”… IPL… Intense Pulsed Light therapy!
- Does IPL work? Yes.
- Is there any downtime with IPL? No.
- Does IPL hurt? No.
- Should you keep reading to find out more about IPL? YES!
How does IPL work?
IPL uses specific wavelengths of light to target melanin in pigmented lesions (aka sun spots) and hemoglobin in vascular lesions (aka broken capillaries). When IPL is used on sun spots, the light is absorbed and damages the melanin (the cells that create the pigmentation and darkness of the spots). The melanin cells and small blood vessels absorb the heat of the light pulse, which causes them to be absorbed a few weeks after the treatment.
How many IPL treatments will I need?
Some people notice an improvement after one or two sessions, but most people need 3-5 treatments spaced about 2-3 weeks apart for the best result. The number of treatments varies depending on the area that’s being treated, and the extent of sun damage, and the experience of your laser practitioner. Beware of “discounted” IPL treatments that are a dime a dozen at many medi-spas. These treatments seem like a great idea when you see the price, but you usually get what you pay for. Medi-spa laser treatments are usually performed by nurses or aestheticians who have a very limited understanding of the technology, and offer everyone the same “cookie cutter” treatment without considering individual differences in skin color, texture, and tone. In addition, medi-spas don’t have access to the same advanced technology as physician-run offices or laser centers. Look for a plastic surgeon or a dermatologist that has extensive experience in laser treatments… you will pay a little more, but you get much more for your money.
What should I expect after each IPL treatment?
There is no real down time after an IPL treatment. You can immediately apply make up and go about your day like normal. You might notice that your skin is a little red for a few hours after the treatment, but the redness is rarely noticeable to anyone but you. You skin may feel a little warm, but again, it’s nothing that’s inconvenience or uncomfortable. Some spots and freckles may appear to get a little darker after the treatment. This is totally normal and expected, and is one of the best ways to know that the melanin cells have been treated effectively. The treated spots will begin to fade after a few days, and will continue to fade over the next 2-3 weeks.
Are IPL treatments painful?
No. You will notice several discreet flashes of light and a barely perceptible pinch on your skin with each flash. Most people consider the treatments to be “very comfortable”, but it’s always possible to use numbing cream if your skin is extra sensitive.
How long do IPL results last?
The results are permanent… as long as you stay out of the sun! It is extremely important to use a good sunscreen every day during and after IPL treatments to help prevent future sun damage.
How can I get more information about IPL?
Give us a call anytime at 917-703-7069 for more information or to schedule a consultation. You can also go to our website at www.ManhattanAestheticSurgery.com or email us as MAS@ManhattanAestheticSurgery.com. And remember, treatments like IPL make a great Christmas gift!
Shea Parker, PA-C
Physician Assistant, Clinical Skin Care Expert
Manhattan Aesthetic Surgery
Photo Credit: istockphoto, ManhattanAestheticSurgery.com